Isle of Man Health Department overspend 'of serious concern'

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Image caption,
The department was allocated a budget of nearly £220m in 2018-19

Another overspend by the Isle of Man's Department of Health is of "serious concern", a member of Tynwald has said.

Jane Poole-Wilson MLC expressed her concerns as the Manx parliament unanimously approved a request for an extra £4m to plug the 2018-19 deficit.

"Without decisive and bold action to improve efficiency and effectiveness we are not securing proper value for this money," said Mrs Poole-Wilson.

Health Minister David Ashford MHK said rising spending on medicines and a pay increase for NHS staff had contributed to the current financial year's overspend.

He said his department was forecasting that "it may exceed its budget by up to £4m".

Image source, David Ashford
Image caption,
Health Minister David Ashford was appointed in January 2018

But he added that he "firmly believe[s] that our financial position is improving".

The department was allocated a budget of nearly £220m in 2018-19.

In the next financial year the Department of Health's budget will increase by £3m.

Total government spending in 2019-20 will be £1.038bn.

The overspend in 2017-18 was £9.5m.

A review of health services in the island, which is expected to make a number of recommendations, is due to be debated by Tynwald in May.

Mr Ashford said his department would then have to "grasp the nettle" by introducing reforms.

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